ISLAMABAD - A writ petition seeking directions to the federal government to initiate the process to ban Muttahida Quami Movement for its alleged anti-Pakistan activities was filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) here yesterday.

Justice Athar Minallah on Wednesday will hear the petition moved by Mazhar Iqbal through his counsel Barrister Masroor Shah. In his petition, he nominated MQM through its Deputy Convener Farooq Sattar, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain, the federation of Pakistan through the Cabinet Division secretary and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as respondents.

Mazhar Iqbal stated that British national Altaf Hussain was a former Pakistani citizen who had been living in the United Kingdom since 1993. He contended that Article 17 of the Constitution categorically ensured fundamental rights to every citizen, not being in the service of Pakistan, to form or be a member of a political party, but it was not unbridled and was subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the law in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

He argued that it was within the powers of the federal government to declare that any political party was operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. And the federal government, within 15 days of such declaration, could refer the matter to the Supreme Court whose decision on such reference would be final, he further contended.

The petitioner said that under Section 15 (1) of the Political Parties Order, 2002, if the federal government is satisfied that a political party is a foreign-aided party or has been formed or is operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan or is indulging in terrorism, it shall make such declaration by a notification in the official gazette.

“Clause 2 of the same provision further stipulates that within 15 days of such declaration, the federal government shall refer the matter to the Supreme Court whose decision on such reference shall be final. Clause 3 of the said provision finally ordains that where the Supreme Court upholds the declaration made against a political party, such party shall stand dissolved forthwith,” maintained Mazhar.

He said the country’s premier law-enforcement agencies were fighting terrorism in Karachi, whereas MQM chief Altaf Hussain has been spitting venom against the federation and its valiant paramilitary and armed forces. He continued that in a telephonic address to his US activists, Altaf Hussain directed them to reach Nato and the United Nations headquarters with the request to send their forces to probe the killings of MQM workers in Karachi.

The petitioner added that in the same speech, Altaf Hussain further stated that India was a coward country otherwise it would not have let the massacre of Mohajirs in Pakistan. He maintained that the MQM chief had been ridiculing the state, its law-enforcement agencies and the armed forces of Pakistan in an explicit manner. The same speech confirms that MQM is a foreign-aided political party formed and operating in a manner prejudicial to the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and is grossly involved in terrorism.

He contended that despite presence of sufficient material on record to declare that MQM is a foreign-aided political party formed and operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan and is involved in terrorism, the federal government, being overwhelmed by short-term political exigencies, is acting as a mere silent spectator and avoiding to discharge its constitutional duties. The petitioner prayed to the court to direct the federal government to immediately declare MQM a foreign-funded political party and has been formed and is operating against Pakistan. After this declaration, the federal government might forward the matter to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for banning this political party, he concluded.